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Lightsaber Combat - The Seven Forms

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > STAR WARS Discussion
Lightsaber Combat - The Seven Forms

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Gilbara
02.15.2012 , 10:56 AM | #1
"A lightsaber—any weapon—only achieves worth in how it is wielded—in the effort, the struggle of one who holds it." ―Kreia

Lightsaber combat refered to several schools of martial arts specialized, though not limited to, fighting with a lightsaber. Such fighting forms were required to compensate for or take advantage of the unique attributes of lightsabers, notably the odd balance of the weapon, all of the weight being in the hilt, and the omni-directional cutting edge. The most prominent lightsaber-oriented combat styles were the seven forms of the Jedi Order, though other organizations were known to have developed their own styles and methods, an example being the Sith-developed Dun Möch technique.

The various combat forms owed their unique focuses and methods to the eras in which they were created in, as they were oftentimes developed to answer a new generation of weapons technology. For example, the dueling-centric Makashi form was created during a time when Dark Jedi and rogue Force-wielders ran rampant through the galaxy, and Lightsaber duels became a common occurence, whereas Soresu was developed when such confrontations were rare, and Jedi were more likely to confront Blaster-wielding opponents and gunslingers rather than lightsaber duelists.

Form I: Shii-Cho

"It is simple, and its simplicity is strength." ―Kreia

Shii-Cho, also known as The Way of the Sarlacc, or The Determination Form, was the first of the seven forms of lightsaber combat. This combat form was developed during the transitional period within the Jedi Order from ancient metal swords to more contemporary lightsabers. Shii-Cho was intended to cater to these new weapons, establishing the basic motions and target zones utilized with a lightsaber. As Shii-Cho was effectively an experimental combat form, and was created prior to the emergeance of Dark Jedi and Sith Lords, it did not address the issue of lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat, and was quickly replaced by Form II: Makashi. Despite this, Shii-Cho continued to find a niche as a training form, with almost every Jedi duelist receiving some instruction in it, and including elements in their own combat styles. Shii-Cho was considered an effective fall-back option when no other form or combat style would do.

As Shii-Cho had been in existence for millennia, and was used to provide early training in lightsaber combat, almost all lightsaber duelists received some level of training in it and included aspects of the form in their own fighting methods.

Other than Lucien Draay, the Jedi Exile, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Kit Fisto, Shii-Cho had many advanced and/or specialist practitioners. In more recent years, the form was mastered by the Jedi swordmaster Cin Drallig, along with the next five forms. Master Kirlocca of the Almas Academy was also credited as having mastered Form I. Kento Marek was a Shii-Cho practitioner, and his son, Galen Marek, maintained a familiarity with the form, able to recognize it in his opponent's technique.

Dooku himself trained General Grievous and his IG-100 MagnaGuards in the style. Darth Vader incorporated elements of Shii-Cho into his personal variant of Form V, and his son, Luke Skywalker, received instruction in basic Form I velocities during his early training under Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Form II: Makashi

"...a technique that helps one resist the Force attacks of an enemy, and is also excellent for lightsaber combat. It does more damage, but it leaves you vulnerable to other attacks. Use it againsts others wielding the Force or lightsabers, but not against anyone else." ―Kreia

Makashi, also known as The Way of the Ysalamiri, or The Contention Form, was the second of the seven classic forms of lightsaber combat. Developed for the purpose of lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat, to address the failings of Form I: Shii-Cho, Makashi was the most dueling-centric of the seven classical forms. Relying on precision and efficiency over Shii-Cho's wild, sweeping motions, Form II allowed an initiate to defend himself against an opponent with minimal effort, while placing a heavy focus on avoiding disarmament.

Makashi was described as elegant and focused, and was based on balance and footwork to outmaneuver opponents. Fluidity and economy of motion were relied on, rather than strength, with Form II bladework heavily utilizing jabs and light cuts rather than hack and slash movements. However, Makashi was not without its weaknesses, being ineffective against multiple opponents and failing to address the issue of blast-deflection. It would eventually be supplanted by Form III: Soresu, the most defensive of the seven forms.

Form II's primary niche was among Jedi duelists who engaged Darksiders, or conversely, Darksiders who engaged Jedi. Examples of such combatants include Kreia, who later taught the Jedi Exile the basics of the form, or the Sith apprentice Fohargh, who was trained by the Sith Blademaster Kas'im. However, following the final battle of Ruusan, Makashi was left obsolete, as the dueling-centric form lacked proper blast-deflect discipline to make it a practical fighting method against criminals, and the number of active lightsaber-wielding Darksiders to engage was practically nil. However, Form II was still taught among the Jedi, with proponents such as Skarch Vaunk praising the mental discipline it instilled. In fact, the Jedi-held Mid-Year Fete featured classical Makashi duels between the various participating swordmasters, ensuring the styles continued survival and use. Furthermore, the attitude towards the styles obsolescence was disputed by notables such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, who argued that the idea that there were no enemy lightsaber duelists to combat was mere wishful thinking.

Despite this, by the time of the Clone Wars, few practiced the form, the most notable being Dooku. Like Skarch Vaunk, Dooku argued Makashi's continuing relevance was due to the discipline it instilled, and held it among the highest of fighting forms. Other Jedi masters of Makashi included famed Jedi battlemaster Cin Drallig and Jedi Council Master Shaak Ti. As a Sith Lord, Dooku trained both Asajj Ventress and Grievous in Form II. Makashi evidently became one of Grievous' primary fighting methods, as many of his opponents commented on Dooku's influence in his technique, and he passed this training on to his IG-100 MagnaGuards.

During the Great Jedi Purge, the Sith Lord Darth Vader and the Jedi Knight Kento Marek both included elements of Makashi in their personal fighting styles. Vader's apprentice; Starkiller; was versed in Form II, able to recognize it in his opponent's technique. The Jedi Knight Jax Pavan also received Form II training at some point, applying some basic Makashi moves and tactics against Aurra Sing in combat.

Form III: Soresu

"A… defensive technique. But effective. Use it if you do not wish to be hit, or if you are facing many opponents with blasters. With a lightsaber blade and enough skill in deflection, it is an excellent offense against blasters, but in other situations, it merely delays the inevitable." ―Kreia

Soresu, also known as the Way of the Mynock, or The Resilience Form, was the third of the seven classic forms of lightsaber combat that was recognized by the Jedi Council prior to and during the Clone Wars. Soresu was developed during the widespread emergence of blasters as an offensive weapon. Essentially a development on Form I blast-deflect training, Soresu relied on tight bladework and subtle dodges to provide maximum defensive coverage, minimizing exposure to ranged weaponry. Over time, Soresu transcended this basic origin, and came to be considered the ultimate expression of non-aggressive Jedi philosophy.

Like Makashi, Soresu relied on economy of motion and energy efficiency, keeping up constant blade-movement to build up momentum and minimize energy-expenditure. Form III focused on strong defensive technique to essentially outlast an opponent, waiting until he began making mistakes due to frustration or fatigue, before taking advantage of these lapses and countering. A master of Soresu was considered invincible, and the focus on long-term survival allowed such duelists to take stock of and control of their situation, choosing to kill, disarm, or even reason with enemies. However, despite its effectiveness, Soresu would receive heavy criticism due to its lack of offensive capabilities, as it merely facilitated survival rather than victory. As an answer to these weaknesses, the highly aggressive Ataru and Shien forms would be developed side-by-side.

Developed to combat blasters, Form III was in existence for thousands of years. One of the older practitioners of the form was the Jedi Exile. Her tutor during her rehabilitation, Kreia, also possessed knowledge of Soresu.

By the time of the New Sith Wars, the Sith Blademaster Kas'im had mastered Form III as well as the six other forms. Kas'im trained several apprentices in the style, including Fohargh, who used it against Bane's Form V. Bane himself possessed considerable skill in the Form, training his apprentice, Darth Zannah, in it.

Almost a millennia later, Soresu was mastered by the Jedi battlemaster Cin Drallig, who in turn trained many in its use. In fact, by the time of the Clone Wars, Soresu was the most common lightsaber form in the Jedi Order, with notables such as Luminara Unduli and Barriss Offee studying it. Dooku maintained a working knowledge of Soresu, sufficient to train Grievous and his IG-100 MagnaGuards in it. During this period, one of the highest masters of Soresu was Obi-Wan Kenobi.

After his defeat and mutilation, Darth Vader included Form III elements in his personal variant of Form V. Vader's apprentice, Galen Marek, was also familiar with Soresu and used it on numerous occasions. Marek's lightsaber-training holodroid, PROXY, replicated Soresu with his Obi-Wan Kenobi combat module, doing so with such accuracy that Marek used it as reference when he studied the form. Luke Skywalker was known to possess some skill in Form III, using it to deflect blaster bolts.

Form IV: Ataru

"Ataru is the name given to the movements of this form—though it is aggressive, it is focused, and its best use is in combat against a single opponent." ―Zez-Kai Ell

Ataru, also known as the Way of the Hawk-Bat, or The Aggression Form, was the fourth of the seven forms of lightsaber combat. The history of Ataru stretched back through the Old Republic, to at least as early as the Mandalorian Wars, where it was commonly employed by Jedi of that day. Ataru continued to be a common form among the Jedi in the latter stages of the Republic.

An aggressive style, Form IV was fast-paced and effective against single opponents, though weaker in prolonged combat and confined spaces. Ataru was characterized by Force-assisted acrobatics, both for attack and defense, and fast, powerful strikes. Notable users of this combat form included Yoda and Qui-Gon Jinn.

Besides Yoda and Qui-Gon Jinn, other notable practitioners of Ataru were Vandar Tokare, Zez-Kai Ell, Vrook Lamar, Kavar, Cay Qel-Droma, Tott Doneeta, Sith Blademaster Kas'im, Dark Jedi Set Harth, Jedi battlemaster Skarch Vaunk[, Cin Drallig, Quinlan Vos, his former Padawan, Aayla Secura, Shaak Ti, Ki-Adi-Mundi, and Dark Jedi Alema Rar.

The Sith Lord Scourge used Ataru to defeat two Sith acolytes of Darth Xedrix on Bosthirda. Obi-Wan Kenobi was also a practitioner of Ataru, but proceeded to study Soresu following the death of his Master, Qui-Gon Jinn, at Naboo. General Grievous and his IG-100 MagnaGuards also learned Ataru from Count Dooku.

Yoda using Ataru against Count Dooku's Makashi.

As a Padawan, Anakin Skywalker studied Ataru briefly, as it fit his flashy, bold, and aggressive personality—he would later use those same traits to become a skilled Form V practitioner. Anakin applied the two-lightsaber variant of Ataru against Count Dooku on Geonosis. Because neither Ataru nor dual-wielding were Skywalker's most effective styles, Dooku broke through it easily with sun djem, forcing the young Padawan to switch back to his standard Form V.

Circa 1,000 BBY, Jedi Padawans were discouraged from practicing Ataru, as their youthful energy was considered prone to sloppy execution of its cadences. However, by the waning years of the Old Republic, Padawans would spend a year or two studying each Form from II to V, including Ataru.

During the Clone Wars, both Obi-Wan Kenobi, who had mastered Ataru in addition to his expertise in Soresu, and Anakin Skywalker often applied some of the Ataru acrobatic moves, despite their mastery of Soresu and Djem So, respectively. When dueling Dooku on the Invisible Hand, Obi-Wan Kenobi started the duel using Ataru stances and techniques to mislead the Sith. Ahsoka Tano practiced Ataru in a training session with Skywalker, shortly before the Battle of Bothawui. Weequay Jedi Sora Bulq as well as Lannik Jedi Master Even Piell also practiced Ataru, in addition to other saber forms. Piell's apprentice, Jax Pavan, would also learn Ataru, along with the other forms, during his Jedi training.

After his transformation and defeat on Mustafar, Darth Vader included elements of Form IV in his personalized variation of Form V, such as during his second duel with Jedi Master Roan Shryne. Vader's secret apprentice was also familiar with Ataru, and his personal droid PROXY attempted to emulate the form, albeit without the aid of the Force, which the apprentice found to be a notable weakness. The usage by the apprentice was displayed in both single and dual-saber variants.

The New Jedi Order would learn of this form, along with the others, from knowledge gleaned from holocrons and recordings, particularly the Great Holocron which included a recording by Cin Drallig explaining lightsaber forms. Kyle Katarn and Alema Rar, among others, were trained in the use of the fourth form of lightsaber combat. Grand Master Luke Skywalker also had knowledge and skill in the use of Ataru, as did his wife, Mara Jade Skywalker. Skywalker learned the form from Yoda and passed it on to his students, teaching them to embrace it not as a weapon of first use, and to use both their weapon and their body in practicing Ataru.

Form V: Shien / Djem So

"Peace through superior firepower." ―A Jedi maxim on Form V

Shien / Djem So, also known as The Way of the Krayt Dragon, or The Perseverance Form, was the fifth of seven forms recognized as canon by the last Jedi Council for lightsaber combat. It was developed by practitioners of Form III: Soresu who felt that the defensively-minded form would unnecessarily extend time spent in combat by forcing its users to wait for an opportunity to strike rather than create their own openings. Form V combat was characterized by power attacks and defense immediately followed by a counter-strike.

Shien, considered the classical Form V, was more adept at blocking blaster bolts, whereas Djem So was developed later and intended for lightsaber combat. Both Shien and Djem So were designed to use an opponent's attack against them, as evidenced by Shien's focus on returning blaster bolts to their origin and Djem So's emphasis on immediately striking back after a blow. Although some Jedi felt that Form V encouraged aggression and domination, that sentiment did not stop many Jedi from practicing the form.

Form V was developed sometime prior to the Great Sith War, which began in 4,000 BBY, and it continued to be used for millennia, during the Jedi Civil War, New Sith Wars, Clone Wars, and beyond. Like the other lightsaber forms, it saw use among both the Sith and Jedi. Knowledge of the form survived the Great Jedi Purge initiated in 19 BBY and into the era of the New Jedi Order. Practitioners of Form V included Jedi Masters Plo Koon and Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker, Aayla Secura, and Ulic Qel-Droma, and Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Bane.

By the time of the Battle of Yavin, Form V had been in existence for millennia. The Djem So variant of Form V was developed sometime before 4,000 BBY, and the Jedi Knight Ulic Qel-Droma utilized the form during the Great Sith War. Shien was practiced by Jedi Masters Kavar, Zez-Kai Ell, and Vrook Lamar during the Jedi Civil War, while Ulic Qel-Droma, who lived a few decades prior to the Jedi Civil War, favored Djem So. The Cold War–era Jedi Rojo Trace was also versed in Djem So, drawing on his knowledge during a brief bout with Sith Blademaster Shak'Weth. During the New Sith Wars, Form V was mastered by the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness' Blademaster Kas'im, who instructed numerous apprentices and acolytes in its use, including Darth Bane. On the Jedi side, Jedi battlemaster Skarch Vaunk was also versed in Form V. To the Jedi of the Clone Wars era, the most prominent practitioner of Form V was Anakin Skywalker, who mastered both Form V variants.

During the waning years of the Old Republic, Jedi Padawans often spent a year or two studying each Form from II to V. During the Invasion of Naboo, Obi-Wan Kenobi showed a basic knowledge of Shien. Later, during the Clone Wars, Form V practitioners included Jedi Knights Khaat Qiyn, Aayla Secura, and Zelice Sturm, the Dark Jedi Garth Ezzar and Sora Bulq, Jedi Masters Plo Koon, Even Piell, Luminara Unduli, Kazdan Paratus, and Cin Drallig, and the Padawans Ahsoka Tano and Jax Pavan. Additionally, despite their lack of Force sensitivity, the Separatist General Grievous and his IG-100 MagnaGuards learned Form V from Count Dooku during the Clone Wars. The Anzat Nikkos Tyris also practiced the style, and trained his followers in the form before he died.

Anakin Skywalker utilizing Shien against Count Dooku's Makashi

After turning to the dark side and joining the Sith, Vader continued to employ Form V. His secret apprentice, Galen Marek, was also familiar with the form, having been personally trained in its usage by Vader. Vader's son, Luke Skywalker, learned Form V in part by mirroring the swordplay of his father in their first duel, and the younger Skywalker ultimately defeated his father with his use of Form V during their second duel. When Luke Skywalker later formed the New Jedi Order, he and the Order learned of the seven combat forms from holocrons and recordings, particularly the Great Holocron, which included a recording by Cin Drallig that explained the lightsaber forms. One practitioner of the Djem So form in the New Jedi Order was Jedi battlemaster Kyle Katarn.

Form VI: Niman

"For superior balance, use the Niman form. This form has no specific strengths, but no weaknesses either." ―Kavar

Niman, also known as The Way of the Rancor, The Moderation Form, and the diplomat's form, was the sixth form of the seven forms of lightsaber combat. This fighting style was a hybrid martial art created by effectively combining elements of all the preceeding lightsaber forms into a single, generalized form. Niman balances out between the various specializations of the other forms, covering many of the basic moves, but focusing on overall moderation. This resulted in a fighting style that lacked a significant advantage, but also lacking any serious drawbacks, and thereby not leaving adherents as exposed as some of the more aggressive or specialized forms. Overall, Niman had a fairly relaxed focus on bladework, designed as a simple, easily mastered fighting form for Jedi who preferred to devote most of their time to study and diplomacy, though it was absolutely deadly in the hands of a skilled practitioner, as demonstrated by such notables as Exar Kun.

To compensate for the relaxed focus on bladework and lack of significant specialization, Niman training regiments encouraged the inclusion of Force-based attacks in combat, such as telekinetic pulls and shoves used in sync with lightsaber strikes. Also, as Niman was developed from two preexisting martial arts fighting forms that both emphasized the use of dual-blades, it provided a firm foundation for duelists looking to study into such practices. Ultimately, Niman's success in combat was dependant on a practitioner's intuition and creativity in combat, rather than the rote responses common to the other forms.

Ironically for a fighting form designed to encourage moderation over aggression, Niman was the chosen discipline of the fallen Jedi turned Sith Lord Exar Kun. Trained by famed Jedi Weapon Master Vodo-Siosk Baas, Kun was one of the finest duelists of the age, even defeating his own master in a sparring match. Adhering more closely to philosophy of Form VI were Zez-Kai Ell, Vrook Lamar, and Kavar, Jedi Council Masters active during the Jedi Civil War and First Jedi Purge who had mastered Niman sufficiently to act as instructors in the style. They typically instructed Jedi Sentinels in the style.

During the New Sith Wars, Niman was practiced amongst both the Jedi and the Sith forces. A notable Jedi adherent was Johun Othone, who took full advantage of Form VI's inherent versatility during the pitched battles of the war. However, during the post-war years, he made little effort to maintain his skills as a swordsman, instead focusing on diplomatic talents, and his skills atrophied considerably. The Sith Blademaster, Kas'im, included full mastery of Niman in his repertiore of skills, and trained many Sith apprentices in the style.

It should be noted that while Kas'im was versed in dual-blade combat, using it to great effect against Darth Bane during their duel to the death, Kas'im instead relied on Ataru dual-blade training rather than Niman.

Darth Sidious' student, Darth Maul was also a Niman practitioner, having learned the form during years of intense training at the hands of his Master. Obi-Wan Kenobi studied Niman during his apprenticeship under Qui-Gon Jinn, attempting to learn how to apply the Force while in the midst of combat, a practice he commented as being difficult. Kenobi's own student, Anakin Skywalker studied Form VI to develop his skills with dual-blades, though he commented that he was working on this mostly as an exercise in control, and was doubtful that he would ever need to apply it. Skywalker's assumption was proven wrong when he wielded dual lightsabers against Dooku during the Battle of Geonosis, and several other times during the Clone Wars. Dooku himself possessed enough skill in Niman to instruct the Kaleesh cyborg Grievous in it, as well as to coach Grievous while he passed his training on to his IG-100 MagnaGuard bodyguards.

Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka Tano, all trained in Niman.

While Form VI was not a weak fighting style, it was an inadequate form for the open battlefields of the Clone Wars. Notably, all adherents of the style involved in the Battle of Geonosis perished, notables including Sarrissa Jeng, Sar Labooda, and Joclad Danva. Danva's death was an especially sore loss for the Jedi Order, as he was among their most renowned duelists and martial artists, a master of the dual-bladed fighting form Jar'Kai, one of the styles that Form VI lightsaber combat was derived from. However, Form VI adherents and trainees remained, with Anakin Skywalker instructing his padawan, Ahsoka Tano, in the lower levels of the style as a training exercise. Tano would later take to wielding a shoto in her off-hand, in keeping with Niman dual-blade training. Jedi Master Cin Drallig was considered the most prolific instructor of Form VI, as he was of the five forms below it, teaching Niman to thousands of students during his Jedi career. However, despite his skills and mastery, he was easily cut down by the Form V specialist Darth Vader during the Great Jedi Purge.

Students of Niman active during the Purge include Rachi Sitra, and Vader's apprentice, Galen Marek. However, Marek chose to devote himself to Forms III and VII rather than VI, though he still incorporated powerful telekinetic attacks into his lightsaber sequences, a common element in Form VI training. His clone, Starkiller, made much more avid use of Niman, actively specializing in the style to develop his skills with dual-blades. Starkiller's knowledge of the form was based off of inherited memory flashes from his genetic template. Despite the limited battlefield benefits provided by Form VI, it remained in use up until and beyond the ressurgence and takeover of the Galactic Empire, a notable practitioner being the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Krayt

Form VII: Juyo / Vaapad

"Six there were for generations of Jedi. The seventh, is not well-known. Powerful form it is. Deadliest of all. But dangerous it is, for its master as well as its opponent. Few have studied. One student alone, to mastery has risen." ―Yoda

Juyo / Vaapad, also known as The Way of the Vornskr, or The Ferocity Form, was the seventh of seven forms recognized as canon for lightsaber combat by the last Jedi Council of the Old Jedi Order. In use millennia prior to the Battle of Yavin, the Juyo incarnation of Form VII was described as the most vicious form of lightsaber combat and was said to involve significant internal focus on the part of the user. Juyo had many practitioners throughout the years, including Jedi Masters Kavar, Zez-Kai Ell, and Vrook Lamar. As time passed, knowledge of Form VII became restricted among the Jedi Order, whose members were worried that its precepts would lead practitioners toward the dark side. In contrast, members of the Sith, such as Darth Maul, employed Juyo without reservation, as did Dark Jedi such as Galen Marek.

In the latter days of the Old Republic, a new variation of Form VII, dubbed Vaapad after a creature native to the planet Sarapin, was created by Jedi Masters Mace Windu and Sora Bulq. Vaapad was explained as being a state of mind rather than just a fighting style, allowing the wielder to channel his own inner darkness into the duel, and accept the fury of the opponent. Windu, Bulq, and Windu's Padawan Depa Billaba were three notable practitioners of the Vaapad variant. Records of both Juyo and Vaapad survived the Great Jedi Purge and were recovered by the New Jedi Order, who preserved the records of Form VII into the Sith–Imperial War.

Juyo was an established form of combat four millennia prior to the Battle of Yavin. Jedi Masters Vrook Lamar, Zez-Kai Ell, and Kavar were all skilled in its use and were able to pass on their experience to others. Jedi Master Atris, who fell to the dark side during the First Jedi Purge, was also known to employ the form. Jaric Kaedan, a Jedi Master who fought in the Great Galactic War, was a master of the form—which was known as Juyo-Kos by that time—and he was considered a living weapon guided by the will of the Force itself. Another Great Galactic War combatant, the Sith Lord Scourge also employed Juyo. Kas'im, the Sith Blademaster on Korriban during the New Sith Wars circa 1,000 BBY, was a master of all seven forms of lightsaber combat. The Sith apprentice Sirak, who was stationed on Korriban during Kas'im's tenure there, was known to incorporate Juyo thrusts and jabs into his fighting style. Another Sith Lord of that era, Darth Bane, was proficient in the use of Juyo. During the conflict, use of Juyo caused many Jedi to fall to the dark side and join forces with the Sith. As a result the Jedi Council restricted the use of the Form, and in the time following the end of the conflict, the Jedi battlemaster Skarch Vaunk trained Juyo to only a few hand-picked students each year.

Centuries later, in 32 BBY, when battling Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and Jedi Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi in Theed, Darth Maul employed a variant of Juyo against his opponents while wielding his double-bladed lightsaber. Maul's use of the form eventually broke through Qui-Gon Jinn's defenses, allowing him to slay the Jedi Master. Maul was devoted to the physical aspect of Form VII, as the Sith sought a purely physical victory over his two opponents. However, Form VII had fewer practitioners than other styles, due to its difficulty, complexity, and demands.

Jedi battlemaster Cin Drallig had knowledge of all seven forms, including Juyo, befitting his role as lightsaber combat instructor at the Jedi Temple, as did Anoon Bondara, another lightsaber instructor. Lannik Jedi Master Even Piell was familiar with all seven forms of lightsaber combat, including Form VII. Furthermore, his Padawan, Jax Pavan, had some knowledge of the Juyo form, which he learned during his time in the Jedi Order. Another practitioner of Juyo was the grizzled Jedi General Rahm Kota, who survived both Order 66 and the Great Jedi Purge. Mace Windu, who went on to develop the Vaapad variant of Form VII, was also skilled in the use of Juyo.

Darth Vader's secret apprentice, Galen Marek, was proficient in the use of Juyo. Marek used the form against both a vision of himself while on the planet Kashyyyk and against the fallen Jedi Maris Brood on Felucia in 2 BBY. Marek's droid companion, PROXY could use an imitation of the form, albeit without the Force, which he fought with while dueling Marek in the guise of Anakin Skywalker. After his defeat in the Duel on Mustafar, Vader himself utilized Form VII as part of his customized variant of Form V, employing some of its techniques when he killed the resistance fighter, Roan Lands, who was a good friend of the former Jedi Ferus Olin. Knowledge of Juyo in the form of records compiled by Jedi Master Cin Drallig was passed on to the New Jedi Order after the Great Holocron was recovered. The New Jedi Order then preserved this information into the Sith–Imperial War.

Weequay Jedi Master Sora Bulq, already considered one of the Jedi Order's finest lightsaber practitioners and skilled in all seven forms, helped Mace Windu perfect Vaapad in the latter years of the Republic. After the Battle of Geonosis, Bulq became disillusioned with the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order and fell to the dark side. As was later said by Windu, Bulq did not master Vaapad; Vaapad mastered him.

Before falling, Bulq also taught Kiffar Jedi Quinlan Vos some maneuvers from Vaapad. Vos would later demonstrate his new talents inadvertently during a practice session with Mace Windu, who immediately recognized his move as part of Vaapad. Windu abruptly halted the duel, warning Vos not to use Vaapad again, as Vos was already considered to tread too closely to the dark side for him to safely employ Vaapad. However, while Vos was serving as a double agent for Count Dooku during the Clone Wars, he was encouraged by Bulq, who had by that time allied with Dooku, to take up Vaapad's power again.

The only student Mace Windu ever taught Vaapad to was his own Padawan, Depa Billaba. Under Windu's instruction, Billaba became a master of Vaapad, with Windu considering her virtually unbeatable in personal combat. While on a mission with her master to Nar Shaddaa, Billaba and Windu were forced into a deadly confrontation with mutated giant akks. They barely survived the encounter, and Windu would later comment that on that day, Billaba had shown blade work that surpassed his own. While on a mission to Haruun Kal, Billaba fell to the dark side, allowing the blood fever of the jungle and the pull of Vaapad to take over. Mace Windu was forced to travel to Haruun Kal and face his student in a duel. Windu discovered that the only way he could survive against his former Padawan was to give all of himself to Vaapad, but realized that if he did, he would fall to the dark side as well. Turning away from the dark side, Windu conceded the fight, purposely opening himself up for Billaba's killing strike. However, Billaba, seeing what she had become, attempted to take her own life but was stopped by timely outside intervention.

While fighting the cyborg General Grievous on Coruscant, Windu again displayed his mastery of Vaapad. Grievous responded by mimicking Windu's style, which resulted in what Windu considered a passable imitation of the form. Grievous had instructed his personal IG-100 MagnaGuard droids in all seven forms of lightsaber combat, including Form VII. As with Juyo, knowledge of Form VII was recovered from the Great Holocron by the New Jedi Order, who preserved the information into the Sith-Imperial War.

"These weapons are not playthings. A lightsaber is a dangerous and destructive instrument, a powerful blade that can strike down an opponent—or a friend, if you're not careful." ―Luke Skywalker to his students

tausra's Avatar


tausra
02.15.2012 , 04:55 PM | #2
Great job with the Wiki copy-pasta.. now why was this important again?
"Sith, children of Sith, warriors everywhere, I declare a new Empire, open to all who long for conquest, freedom from inhibition and the right to follow their passions." -Emperor Malgus

Gilbara's Avatar


Gilbara
02.15.2012 , 08:19 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by tausra View Post
Great job with the Wiki copy-pasta.. now why was this important again?
It's just for others who are interested in the lore of lightsaber combat. If you aren't interested that's fine.

Uluain's Avatar


Uluain
02.16.2012 , 03:43 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by tausra View Post
Great job with the Wiki copy-pasta.. now why was this important again?
Relevant to SWTOR insofar as some jedi classes actually practice these forms in-game.

Thanks for the post. Could have been more concise, though - reached my TLDR point and sort of skimmed after that.

tausra's Avatar


tausra
02.16.2012 , 08:18 AM | #5
It' more easily accessed, and more easily read on wookiepedia
"Sith, children of Sith, warriors everywhere, I declare a new Empire, open to all who long for conquest, freedom from inhibition and the right to follow their passions." -Emperor Malgus

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Ycoga
02.16.2012 , 08:55 AM | #6
A sticky would be good; and a link to source if necessary?

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Gilbara
02.16.2012 , 11:05 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by tausra View Post
It' more easily accessed, and more easily read on wookiepedia
then go there? nothings stopping you.

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EwokWarrior_
05.07.2012 , 11:15 AM | #8
I'm new to this game. I'm a level 12 Jedi Sentinel

How do I actually change my lighstaber form? or is that an option that I will get as I level up later on in the story?

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Creror
05.07.2012 , 11:26 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by EwokWarrior_ View Post
I'm new to this game. I'm a level 12 Jedi Sentinel

How do I actually change my lighstaber form? or is that an option that I will get as I level up later on in the story?
You only get some selected forms.
As Jedi Knight you start with the balanced Shii-Cho form.
As Jedi Guardian you have access to the defensive Soresu Form and the aggresive Shien form.
As Jedi Sentinel you have access to the acrobatic Ataru form and the aggresive Juyo form.

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Lewisgil
05.07.2012 , 04:07 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by EwokWarrior_ View Post
I'm new to this game. I'm a level 12 Jedi Sentinel

How do I actually change my lighstaber form? or is that an option that I will get as I level up later on in the story?
You will unlock Juyo at level 14 I believe and Ataru is unlocked by spending points in the approptiate tree. I haven't played a Marauder or Sentinel since Beta so, I am not too sure on which tree or even how many points you need to spend.
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